Sometimes, when you move, things get lost. They get tossed out, or you’re sure you packed them, or suddenly you’re just down a couple dozen books you were sure were in your bookshelf (me.) Sometimes, you have helpful spouse tying up loose ends, and they simply tie them up too tightly. And that’s where our scene begins.
The weekend before last, my husband rented a big, old UHaul truck, and we stacked our larger furniture, paintings, beds and bookshelves inside. We hadn’t packed beforehand, so after we brought the truck back, there was still plenty to do, boxes to tape, things to give away, you know.
Over the weekend, my husband had said something along the lines of, “I got rid of half my wardrobe! We don’t need to bring all that stuff.”
And that’s what was running through my head as I looked quizzically at the expensive brown shoes in the middle of our almost-empty master bedroom.
Surely he didn’t leave them behind on purpose? But all the other shoes were gone, and these lone survivors were out in plain sight…right near the donation pile. I looked again. But I would never donate these, I thought. Of course, I took all my clothes (save my excessive number of 1990s pantsuits).
You know, it’s hard to give away suits that got you your first few jobs after college, right? No? Anyway, they’re gone now. Along with those shoes. I threw them right in the bottom of a 30-gallon trash with all his other clothes on top, and hauled it off to the Goodwill.
Three days later…
“Oh my God, where are my brown shoes? I can find every single pair of shoes, except the ones I want! I’m sure I packed them!” At t-5 minutes until he had to leave for work, I thought it might be a bad time to tell him that perhaps he didn’t, after all, pack them. I stayed quiet, earning a confused and slightly distraught look from him as he most likely wondered why I, shoe-queen, did not feel his pain. As he walked out the door in his definitely-not-brown shoes, I posted on my phone to Facebook:
“That awkward moment when your husband is very clearly looking for shoes he’s sure he packed, but you know he left behind…and you brought them to Goodwill two days ago. Operation shoe recovery to commence at 12:30.”
And it did. As soon as I dropped those kids off at school, I picked up more stuff to donate, and drove right back down there.
Hairied and in emergency-mode, I pretty much scared the pants off the poor guy taking donations. He’d dealt with me the other day, and so kind of already knew my New-England-talking-way-too-fast-and-intensely-for-you ways.
“I brought in a bunch of stuff the other day! Do you still have it?”
“Out…on…the…floor,” he answered in Florida-slow-drawl-style.
“There were some nice shoes in there, did you see them?”
He shook his head.
“If they were nice, miss, they’re prolllllllly gone.” So. Slow. When. You. All. Talk. Seriously.
I finish unloading and rush into the store. I find the women’s shoes, and a woman working on them. I ask her my questions and she looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, and points me to the men’s shoes. I run over there. The shelves are nearly empty. But there, on the third row down, a pair of nice brown shoes!
I shout out loud, and a man who’s looking at the shoes startles. I pick them up. Man, it must have been a few days since I saw them because they look just slightly different. But it was meant to be. Armed with my husband’s shoes, I walk proudly up to the counter and tell them my sordid tale of woe.
And would you believe it, they even gave me half-price. Best $5 I ever spent.
With the blessed shoes in hand, I texted my husband in jubilation. The conversation is too funny to leave out.
“Just bought your shoes back from Goodwill. Hahaha!”
“OMG, really? Wait, bought or brought?”
“Yes. I had a feeling you had left them behind because when packing up, I remember thinking damn, he went crazy getting rid of stuff. I loved these! So when I dumped today, I asked about them. They’d already made it to the floor. So nice, even Goodwill marked them for 10 bucks.”
“Haha. You had to buy them back.”
Over the course of the day, he told his brother, who, of course, blew my cover.
“She knew this morning!” he said.
When my husband asked me that, and I said yes, he was shocked. Hah. It was just a bad time to say anything, know what I mean?
Where were the shoes, he wanted to know. And I proudly pointed him over to his chair, where they sat in a plastic bag that said “Thank You” on it.
Grinning from ear-to-ear he opened it up. And the smile faded. And the shoes clattered to the ground.
“These are not my shoes.” He was totally disgusted. Other people’s shoes don’t really do it for him, I guess.
And I was like, yes, of course they are not. They are far too pointy, and too dark in color, and there was no scuff on the top of the toe on his shoes.
I knew all those things. I knew them. But I ignored them, so excited was I about being able to be jubilant.
And so our shoes are gone. Long now on the feet of someone who doesn’t mind other people’s shoes.
My Facebook status, of course, after that, read: “Oh my God. Just kidding. Those were not his shoes.”
To everyone’s delight.
Who wants a happy ending anyway?